As the Tri-Valley enters its first week of the county stay-at-home orders, businesses and individuals throughout the region must prepare for weeks of restrictions similar to orders issued in March.

We are all facing COVID-19 burnout. But those of us hit hardest are small business owners — the ones whose livelihoods don't easily transfer to a computer screen. Local entrepreneurs poured their hearts into launching their stores and businesses or growing their clientele base. Now, many are barely hanging on, and some are losing everything.

While many people can spout the phrase “shop local” and support its messaging easily enough, some don’t always practice what they preach. Shopping local might sometimes mean buying less. That’s not a terrible thing. Quality products purchased from artisans and merchants whose tax dollars, in turn, contribute to the community outweigh the quantity one can yield from industries like Walmart or Amazon.

The Independent applauds the efforts of the Tri-Valley’s councils, which have worked to procure loans and grant programs, along with their involvement in aiding businesses with various campaigns. Let’s help them help small businesses.

This holiday season, whenever possible, consider investing in your community.